The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has extended enforcement of the Aarogya Setu Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocol, 2020, (“Protocol”) by another 12 months, up to 10th May 2022. MeitY revealed the information on its portal on July 29th, 2021.
The Protocol’s History
After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Disaster Management Authority’s National Executive Committee created 11 empowered groups. The Empowered Committee 9 on Technology and Data Management released the Aarogya Setu Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocol on 11.05.2020 for the COVID-19 contact tracing application. The protocol was initially ought to remain in force for a period of 6 months. The Empowered Committee has the power to extend it for further duration.
Importance of the Protocol
However, the Ministry released the protocol after much protest regarding the security of data that the application collects and the manner in which it does so. Many denounced the app as “a tool of mass surveillance”.